(Cue the shrieking violins from the soundtrack of Psycho.)
But it's so essential! I'm on a hypocritical soap box in saying that for artwork, but I took 12 years of piano lessons-- I know practice makes things easier and better. (Shout out to my piano teacher, Connie, and Mom for making me learn this.)
The key is to get past that point of intense hatred for it, so that you've just resigned to give in, put in the numbers, get it over with and check it off the list. But after a while of that, you start to realize that you've come a long way since the beginning, and practice has changed from "I have to play this 10 times in a row pretty well," to "Ok, 10 times in a row with no note mistakes. Done! So let's see if I can try it 5 more times with no hesitations. Cool, it worked! Maybe I could try playing with my eyes closed now..." (That last one is just something I did for fun, and it didn't often work, haha.) It's suddenly more of a game that's really exciting-- like, it's ridiculous that practicing like that can make me smile so much. The only competition is yourself, and the only way to lose is to do nothing at all.
So, I assume, it is with drawing figures or whatever you want to be better at. I was astounded last year when I whipped out a male and female figure completely from my head, and they weren't too shabby! And all because I had spent hours filling up my sketchbook with figures for my figure drawing class.
This post has taken a turn from where I thought it'd be going, but it's a good one, so I'm keeping it. Just know that this great video tutorial a friend of mine posted on Facebook (thanks Jordan!) was supposed to be related to something I was going to say. :) It's a great video about structure, shape, anatomy, and expression in caricature drawing by John Kascht. Find it HERE. :)
And for good measure, here are the heads for the characters Doli and Dallben I had to do for class. I got really into that first page of the dwarf, Doli! Numbers 5,6,8, and 9 are my favorites for him. Dallben was a little more drab, but I like numbers 1 and 11 best.